Top 10 Customer Service Professional Certifications
This article will provide an overview of the most popular customer service certifications available, including their requirements and benefits.
Published 17 min read
Certifications are important for customer service professionals in the job market because they demonstrate a commitment to professional development, specialized knowledge and expertise, and a level of proficiency that employers look for when hiring customer service representatives. Certified customer service professionals can often command higher salaries and be more competitive in their job search. The certifications also show potential employers that the individual has taken the time to invest in themselves and their career by taking courses and earning certifications related to customer service. Additionally, certifications provide validation that the individual is knowledgeable about the latest industry trends, regulations, and procedures.
The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Customer Service Professionals and explain how they can help advance their careers.
What are Customer Service Professional Certifications?
Customer service professional certification is a professional qualification that demonstrates an individual's expertise in customer service. It is designed to equip professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively manage customer relationships, provide high-quality customer service, and handle customer complaints. Certification can be obtained through various organizations and programs, such as those offered by the International Customer Service Association (ICSA) or the Customer Service Institute of America (CSIA).
Having a professional certification in customer service provides numerous benefits for both employers and employees. For employers, it demonstrates that they have employees who are knowledgeable about customer service practices and can help maintain a positive image of the company. Additionally, having certified personnel can help improve employee morale as well as increase productivity and efficiency. For employees, having a certification provides them with an opportunity to demonstrate their competency in this field, helping them stand out from other job applicants when applying for jobs. Moreover, having a certification may also lead to higher salaries or promotions within their current positions.
Overall, obtaining professional certification in customer service is an excellent way to validate one’s skills and knowledge while showing potential employers their commitment to providing excellent customer service experiences.
Pro Tip: Invest in a customer service professional certification program to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and best practices. These certifications can help you build credibility and demonstrate your commitment to providing exceptional customer service.
Related: What does a Customer Service Professional do?
Top 10 Customer Service Professional Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Customer Service Professionals today.
1. Certified Customer Service Professional (CCSP)
Certified Customer Service Professional (CCSP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize customer service professionals who demonstrate the highest levels of customer service skills, knowledge, and commitment. It is offered by the International Customer Service Association (ICSA).
The CCSP program consists of two parts: an online assessment and an in-person training course. The online assessment tests your knowledge of customer service principles, best practices, and strategies. The in-person course provides hands-on training and practice in customer service techniques.
It typically takes about six weeks to complete the CCSP program. To get started, you must first register for the program with ICSA. After registering, you will receive access to the online assessment and instructions on how to complete it. Once you have passed the assessment with a score of 80% or higher, you will be eligible to attend the in-person training course. Upon successful completion of both parts of the program, you will receive your CCSP certification.
The cost of obtaining a CCSP certification varies depending on where you take the course and what type of membership you have with ICSA. The cost can range from $200-$500 USD depending on these factors.
2. Certified Professional Customer Service Manager (CPCSM)
Certified Professional Customer Service Manager (CPCSM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize customer service professionals who have demonstrated an advanced level of knowledge, skills and abilities in the field. The CPCSM certification is awarded by the International Customer Service Association (ICSA).
The CPCSM certification requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in customer service management. Candidates must pass a two-hour written exam that covers topics such as customer service theory, customer service strategies, communication techniques, problem solving, and conflict resolution.
To get the CPCSM certification, applicants must first meet certain eligibility requirements. These include having at least three years of full-time customer service experience in a managerial role, or five years of experience in any customer service position. Candidates must also complete an approved training course related to customer service management.
It typically takes four to six months for candidates to complete all of the requirements for the CPCSM certification. The cost of the certification varies depending on which training course you choose and whether you opt for additional study materials or coaching services. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000 USD for the entire process.
3. Certified Professional in Customer Relationship Management (CPCRM)
Certified Professional in Customer Relationship Management (CPCRM) is a certification program designed to help customer service professionals demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the field of customer relationship management (CRM). The CPCRM certification is offered by the International Customer Service Association (ICSA), an organization that provides professional development, training, and certification programs for customer service professionals.
The CPCRM program consists of three courses: Introduction to CRM, Advanced CRM Concepts, and CRM Best Practices. Each course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices of effective CRM. The courses cover topics such as customer segmentation, data analysis, process improvement, customer experience design, and more.
It typically takes between 8-10 months to complete the CPCRM program. To get certified, you must complete all three courses and pass the final exam with a score of 70% or higher. Once you have completed all requirements for the program, you will receive your CPCRM certificate from ICSA.
The cost for the CPCRM program varies depending on whether or not you are an ICSA member. For non-members, the cost is $1,495 USD; however members receive a discounted rate of $1,295 USD.
4. Certified Customer Service Specialist (CCSS)
Certified Customer Service Specialist (CCSS) is a professional certification program designed to help customer service professionals demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities in the field of customer service. It is administered by the International Customer Service Association (ICSA), an independent organization dedicated to promoting excellence in customer service.
The CCSS certification is a comprehensive program that covers topics such as customer service fundamentals, communication and problem-solving skills, customer relations management, and more. The program consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course takes approximately 60 hours to complete, and the exam takes about two hours.
To get certified as a CCSS, you must first complete the online course and pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher. Once you have successfully completed both parts of the program, you will receive your official CCSS certificate from ICSA.
The cost for the CCSS certification program varies depending on whether you choose to take the online course or attend an in-person training session. The online course costs $595 USD while attending an in-person training session costs $795 USD.
5. Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP)
Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) is a certification program that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated expertise in customer experience management. It is the only globally recognized certification for customer experience professionals.
The CCXP certification process takes approximately 3-4 months to complete, depending on the individual's level of preparation and commitment. The process includes a comprehensive application, an online assessment, and a virtual panel interview with experienced customer experience professionals.
To become certified, applicants must demonstrate their knowledge of customer experience theory and practice through their application and assessment results. They must also demonstrate their ability to apply this knowledge in real-world scenarios during the panel interview.
The cost of the CCXP certification program varies depending on the country where it is taken; however, it typically costs between $2,000 and $3,000 USD. This fee covers all aspects of the certification process including the application fee, assessment fee, and panel interview fee.
6. International Customer Service Association (ICSA) Certification
The International Customer Service Association (ICSA) Certification is a professional certification program for customer service professionals. It is designed to recognize and reward those who have achieved a high level of excellence in customer service.
The ICSA Certification program consists of four levels: Certified Professional (CP), Advanced Professional (AP), Master Professional (MP), and Executive Professional (EP). Each level requires different levels of experience, knowledge, and skill. The CP level is the entry-level certification, while the EP level is the highest level.
To get certified at any of these levels, you must pass an exam administered by ICSA. The exams are offered online or in person at various locations around the world. The cost of the exam varies depending on the level you are taking, but typically ranges from $95 to $295 USD per exam.
It typically takes between 4-6 weeks to receive your results after taking an exam. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your certificate in the mail within 8-10 weeks.
In order to maintain your certification, you must complete continuing education credits every two years as well as pay an annual renewal fee of $50 USD.
7. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service Certification
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service Certification is a certification program designed to help customer service professionals develop their skills and expertise in using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service. This certification validates an individual’s ability to use the features and capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, enabling them to provide better customer experiences.
The certification consists of two exams: MB-200 and MB-220. The MB-200 exam focuses on the fundamentals of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, including topics such as configuring customer service applications, managing customer data, creating reports, and more. The MB-220 exam focuses on advanced topics such as customizing customer service processes, integrating with other applications, and troubleshooting.
It typically takes around 4 weeks to complete the certification process. To get certified, you must first pass both exams with a minimum score of 700 out of 1000 points each. You can take the exams online or at a local testing center. Once you have passed both exams, you will receive your official Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service Certification.
The cost of the certification varies depending on where you take the exams and how many attempts it takes to pass them. Generally speaking, it costs between $150-$200 USD per exam attempt plus any additional fees associated with taking the exam at a testing center (if applicable).
8. Six Sigma Green Belt Certification
Six Sigma Green Belt Certification is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated an understanding of Six Sigma processes and tools. It is intended for those who are involved in the implementation, management, or improvement of Six Sigma projects.
The certification typically requires completion of a two-day training course that covers the fundamentals of Six Sigma, including process mapping, statistical analysis, problem solving, and project management. The course also includes an exam at the end which must be passed in order to receive the certification.
In order to get certified as a Six Sigma Green Belt, you must first complete the required training course and pass the exam with a score of 80% or higher. The cost of the training course varies depending on where it is taken and can range from $1,000 to $3,000.
Once you have completed the training course and passed the exam, you will receive your official Six Sigma Green Belt Certification from an accredited certifying body such as ASQ (American Society for Quality). This certification is valid for three years and can be renewed by taking a refresher course or passing another exam.
9. Salesforce Administrator Certification
Salesforce Administrator Certification is an industry-recognized credential that validates your skills and knowledge in the Salesforce platform. It is a way to demonstrate your expertise in the Salesforce platform, and it can open up career opportunities for you.
The certification typically takes about two months to complete, depending on how much time you dedicate to studying and taking practice exams. To get certified, you must first pass a multiple-choice exam administered by Salesforce. The exam covers topics such as data management, security, analytics, automation, reporting, and more.
The cost of the certification varies depending on where you take the exam. In most cases, it will cost between $200-$400 USD. You can also purchase study materials from third-party vendors to help prepare for the exam.
Once you have passed the exam and become certified, you will be able to use the Salesforce Administrator logo on your resume or website to show potential employers that you are an expert in the Salesforce platform.
10. Oracle Service Cloud Certification
Oracle Service Cloud Certification is a professional certification program that validates an individual’s knowledge and skills in using Oracle Service Cloud. It demonstrates an individual’s ability to configure, customize, and manage Oracle Service Cloud solutions.
The certification process includes passing two exams: the Oracle Service Cloud Fundamentals Exam (1Z0-460) and the Oracle Service Cloud Implementation Essentials Exam (1Z0-461). The exams are administered at Pearson VUE testing centers. The cost of the exams is $245 each.
The exams are designed to test a candidate’s knowledge of Oracle Service Cloud features, functionality, configuration, customization, and management. The exam topics include customer service processes, product information management, contact center administration, analytics and reporting, and integration with other systems.
It typically takes between 8-12 weeks to complete the certification process from start to finish. Candidates should plan on spending at least 10 hours per week studying for the exams in order to be successful.
In addition to passing the two exams, candidates must also have experience working with Oracle Service Cloud solutions in a production environment for at least 6 months prior to taking the exam.
Do You Really Need a Customer Service Professional Certificate?
A Customer Service Professional Certificate can be a great asset for anyone looking to break into the customer service industry. It is an important credential that will show employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide excellent customer service. The certificate also shows potential employers that you are committed to your career and have taken the initiative to learn more about customer service.
Having a Customer Service Professional Certificate can be beneficial in many ways. It provides proof of your understanding of customer service principles, as well as your ability to apply them in various situations. Your certificate may also help you stand out from other applicants, since it demonstrates that you have taken extra time and effort to learn specialized skills related to customer service.
In addition, having a Customer Service Professional Certificate can open up new opportunities for advancement within the field. Employers value employees who are dedicated to their profession and willing to continue learning new skills and techniques. A certificate can also make it easier for you to network with other professionals in the field, giving you access to valuable resources such as job postings and industry events.
Overall, getting a Customer Service Professional Certificate is highly recommended if you are serious about pursuing a career in this field. It will give you an edge over other applicants, demonstrate your commitment and dedication, and open up new opportunities for advancement within the industry.
Related: Customer Service Professional Resume Examples
FAQs About Customer Service Professional Certifications
Q1. What is a customer service professional certification?
A1. A customer service professional certification is a credential that demonstrates a person’s knowledge and competence in the area of customer service. It is typically earned by taking a course or passing an exam, and can be used to show potential employers or clients that the individual has the skills necessary to provide excellent customer service.
Q2. What are the benefits of having a customer service professional certification?
A2. Having a customer service professional certification can help individuals stand out from other candidates when applying for jobs, as it shows employers that they have taken steps to further their knowledge and skills in this field. Additionally, having this certification can open up more opportunities for advancement within the organization, as well as potentially increase earning potential.
Q3. What types of certifications are available?
A3. There are various types of certifications available depending on an individual’s needs and interests, such as Certified Customer Service Professional (CCSP), Certified Professional in Customer Service (CPCS), Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP), and more.
Q4. How long does it take to earn a certification?
A4. The time it takes to earn a certification varies depending on the type of program chosen; however, most programs can be completed in 6-12 months with some taking even less time than that. Additionally, some certifications offer online courses which may shorten the timeframe even further.
Q5. Is there an age requirement for obtaining a customer service professional certification?
A5: Generally speaking, no; however, some programs may have specific requirements such as being over 18 years old or having prior work experience in order to be eligible for enrollment or completion of certain courses/programs.